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Phoenix upset tired Roar 2-1 in A-League

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/02/2017 Vince Rugari

Thomas Broich of the Roar and Matthew Ridenton of the Phoenix challenge for the ball during the round 21 A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and the Wellington Phoenix © Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images Thomas Broich of the Roar and Matthew Ridenton of the Phoenix challenge for the ball during the round 21 A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and the Wellington Phoenix Brisbane Roar have missed another chance to move ahead in the battle for third spot on the A-League ladder after an upset 2-1 defeat to Wellington Phoenix.

Despite dropping three players - including key import Roly Bonevacia - for breaching team standards, the Phoenix were in perfect harmony on Saturday as they took full advantage of a flat and depleted Roar outfit with an impressive display.

The victory is Wellington's first after three consecutive defeats, only their second ever at Suncorp Stadium and sees them leapfrog Newcastle into seventh spot on the ladder.

The Roar, who were backing up from midweek AFC Champions League duty, could have closed to within six points of Melbourne Victory had they prevailed after third-placed Melbourne City's 3-1 loss to Sydney FC.

Instead, John Aloisi's side have now gone without a win in their last four matches ahead of a tough trip to South Korea to face Ulsan Hyundai on Tuesday night.

Brisbane welcomed back skipper Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen from injury but it appeared their heavy recent schedule finally caught up with them in front of 10,723 fans.

They had the same amount of shots on goal as the Phoenix but the best of their chances were either blocked by defenders or snuffed out by gloveman Glen Moss.

Wearing No.99, veteran striker Shane Smeltz opened the scoring with his 99th national league goal just after the half-hour mark, stunning a flat-footed Roar defence.

Smeltz drifted from his marker and headed a perfect Adam Parkhouse cross straight into the bottom corner, giving goalkeeper Michael Theo no chance.

Roy Krishna made it 2-0 in the 61st minute, sweeping in a cutback from Kosta Barbarouses.

The in-form Brandon Borrello got one back for Brisbane with a wicked first-time curling shot from the edge of the box in the 75th minute but despite a late rally, they couldn't find an equaliser.

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